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No answers yet in police shooting of mentally-ill man


Two months after Saginaw police fatally shot a mentally-ill man, his family and community are still calling for answers.

On July 1st, Milton Hall was gunned down in a parking lot during a confrontation with police. It was captured on a cell phone video and made national headlines, with some media reporting the officers fired 46 times.

Hall reportedly held a knife, though the video appears to show he was several feet away when police opened fire.

Michigan state police and the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Bureau are still investigating. A spokesperson for the state police says they can’t comment while the inquiry is ongoing, except to say that they’re focused on a complete and thorough investigation, rather than a hasty one.

But the victim's mother, Jewel Hall, is suing. "They did not have to shoot 46 shots. It's a firing squad. Now can't you imagine what happened when they fired those shots into my son's body? I heard blood was all over the ground. All over."

She says no one from the Saginaw Police Department has contacted her about her son's death. A New Mexico resident, Hall says officials are too slow in releasing their findings.  “We need the report. It doesn't take that long for a little town, and something that happened in 30 or 40 minutes, to bring out a report.”

A group called Concerned Citizens of Saginaw is opening their own probe. They’re led by former Saginaw mayor Gary Loster.

At the time of publication, the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s office had not returned requests for information about when their report may be released. The Saginaw Police Department said officers were not available for comment at this time. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health and the COVID-19 pandemic.